End of “lifetime” social housing for tenants who are too rich: why the government’s project provokes strong reactions

End of “lifetime” social housing for tenants who are too rich: why the government’s project provokes strong reactions

Le ministre délégué au Logement, Guillaume Kasbarian. MAXPPP – Vincent Isore

Selon le ministre délégué au Logement, Guillaume Kasbarian, plus de 8 % des bénéficiaires seraient dans ce cas de figure. Le projet fait réagir.

After advocating the end of lifelong employment for civil servants, through Minister Stanislas Guerini, the government is opening a new gap in the field of social housing.

The recipe is the same: call public opinion to witness by pointing out a supposed undue privilege. "When we have 5.2 million social housing units in France and 1.8 million households legitimately applying to enter it, is it normal that&rsquo ;they are prevented from doing so when there are people within the social housing system whose situation has largely changed since they were allocated their housing ?" , asks the Minister for Housing, Guillaume Kasbarian, in an interview published on Friday by Les Échos.

"Those who have significantly exceeded the income ceilings"

"We must re-examine the relevance of continuing to occupy social housing for those who have largely exceeded the income ceilings, have been able to inherit, and sometimes have a second home in their possession and whose heritage – and this is the meaning of life – evolved", he argues.

The minister therefore wishes to include in his housing bill, expected in May on the table of the Council of Ministers, then in June in the Senate, a regular and obligatory evaluation by social landlords of "the personal, financial and property situation" of the tenants of the social housing stock.

With a clear objective: to ask people who are too rich to pack their boxes. The phenomenon is anything but marginal, he assures. According to Guillaume Kasbarian, more than 8% of current HLM tenants would no longer be eligible for social housing if they applied for one today.


This verification "will first allow you to query the renewal of the lease. And then to question the level of rents, explains Guillaume Kasbarian. This "notion of “housing for life&quot ;, if it can be effective in the media, has no legal reality, retorts the Social Union for Housing which calls on the minister to "don't give in to demagoguery".


HLM tenants must, in fact, already respond every year to a "resources survey"&nbsp ;to attest to their economic situation. If they now exceed the resource ceiling, their landlord can, since 2009, increase their rent or refuse to renew their lease.

"A summary of these controls in a report sent to the prefect every year"

Only those over 65 and people with disabilities are exempt from the system. According to the president of the Social Union for Housing, Emmanuelle Cosse, interviewed by France Info, the new thing is that landlords will now have to formalize"a summary of these controls in a report sent to the prefect every year".

This project aims above all to "pit the working classes against each other and [to] spare the richest and real estate speculation", denounces the National Housing Confederation.

Other measures planned

This proposal "is an unspeakable hypocrisy, says the communist senator from Paris, Ian Brossat, since’it suggests that the tenants HLM would today be inevictable. In reality, the government is making social housing tenants pay for its inability to produce social housing".

The Minister undertakes, however, to maintain "the target objectives of 20 to 25 % of social housing"< /em> in the municipalities concerned by the SRU law (Solidarity and urban renewal), a subject on which he knows he is expected to come around. But according to Le Monde, he would consider authorizing municipalities to catch up with intermediate housing (at more expensive rents).

The bill will also aim more broadly to facilitate access to housing for the middle classes. It should also give more power to mayors in the allocation of HLM or in the decision to sell them.

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